safety

I'm trapped in an unhealthy relationship and don't know what to do.

MarySharkey
asks:
I am 17 now, and started dating this one fellow when I was fifteen. At the time he was 44. Of course, now he's 46, but that's not really the point. He's divorced and has two kids, one son 2 years younger than me, and a daughter the age of my own younger sister (12). I look after them for him sometimes. I feel like I really love him, but I don't really feel the same way about him....

Summering Safe and Sound

Here in the hemisphere I live in, we're into the swing of summer. Ah, summer, my personal favorite season. I love the sun, the warmth, everything blooming, the energy, the spirit of the season.

It's also the time of year when we tend to see the most new users coming to us because they're in a crisis or a panic, or are just really, really feeling down in the dumps. We know that the idea of summer as a happy, carefree time for all young people doesn't square with the reality that for plenty, it's not, whether that's about tough stuff happening, or about having experiences that aren't negative, but are just super-challenging. With that in mind, here are a few tips and things to think about as you get into (or grapple with) your summer groove:

I worry that because I'm a man, I am going to sexually abuse someone.

aplanacanalpanama
asks:
My mom was a victim of incest as a girl and has used it to invalidate my emotions. I blame the incest, not my mom, but it still hurts. But I can't help but feel like I, as a man, am dirty to be sexual. I can't draw a line in my head between good sex and bad sex. I am a virgin because when I get close to sex, the girl will start reminding me of my mom or my sister....

Three on Getting to the Bottom of Things

Ariana11
asks:
So my boyfriend of 9 months was asking me about anal sex. We only ever done oral sex, so when he brought up anal I was a little scared. We both decided to at least see if it could work. We were at his house and I got on my knees and he slowly went in. At first if hurt then it didn't. All in all we only did this for about 7 seconds then we stopped....

What Is Healthy Sexual Development?

Depending on your view, the answer to that question might seem really obvious or very tricky and hazy.

At a recent conference I was part of in London, Alan McKee presented a talk which included a piece published in the International Journal of Sexual Health (2010, 22(1), Healthy sexual development: a multidisciplinary framework for research. What McKee and his colleagues determined to be the core parts of healthy sexual development had me jumping up and down in my seat with joy (literally: I may have disturbed my fellow attendees with my bouncing). It summed up the things we try to support, encourage and inform our users with and keep core at Scarleteen so well, and so much of what I think -- after many years of thinking hard about and working with these issues, and being fully and broadly immersed in them with a very diverse population -- truly is central to healthy sexual development.

I'm delighted to have permission to excerpt and reprint this framework here.

How to See Coercion Clearly Through Love Glasses

helovesme31
asks:
I have a boyfriend been dating for about a year next week. We are deeply and truly in love even though we're not even 16. People say you can't really be in love at our age, but I believe you can be. Recently, I said no to sex, so I guess I pushed all the wrong buttons and this is what he said: "I'm so [f-word]ing tired, I don't want to climb a ladder....

He wants to take his anger out on my body: that's not okay, right?

bludragonfly7
asks:
My ex-boyfriend and I are working through a very hard situation where in his perspective I cheated on him so I'm trying to fix things and gain his trust again. There has been a lot of pain and distrust between us lately but we are finally getting to a healthier, better place. However, he said something that really disturbed me the other day and I need someone else's perspective....

How can I keep from getting upset when he ignores my no?

Elizabeth1
asks:
I'm 15 and my bf told me about a week ago that he thought I should be loosing my virginity and a few days ago I did. I was ok with this and only said once that if it was ok with him I'd like to stop (the way he was looking at me was creeping me out), but it wasn't ok with him so he kept going....